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Recipe: Strawberry Ricotta Cheesecake

It’s strawberry season, and this season is a particularly good one so I thought it was about time I shared this delectable recipe.  I created this recipe a number of years ago and it is still one of my favourite desserts. It is always a big hit in my cooking classes, and my students are amazed that not only is it gluten free but low fat!   This light and luscious cheesecake is not too sweet, and because it doesn’t have a biscuit base like many cheesecakes it is lesser in calories. You could use low-fat ricotta for an even lower fat option, and for a gluten free dessert make sure you use gluten-free cornflour.  If you’re serving a wine with it, a Late Harvest Riesling is a good match. Enjoy!


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Recipe: Cherry Tomato, Olive and Onion Jam Tarte Tatin

This creation was a result of my participation in the Meat-Free Monday initiative. As much as I enjoy vegetarian food, my husband is a self-confessed carnivore, so to keep him happy it is necessary for me to come up with interesting and tasty meat-free meals on Mondays. I love the idea of a savoury Tarte Tatin, and this was put together based on what I had in the fridge. It’s lovely served with a simple rocket and parmesan salad, and it also makes a gorgeous lunch dish.

Cherry Tomato Tarte Tatin

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Recipe: Beef Bourguignon

This Retro classic still has a place on the dinner party table after all these years, especially on a chilly winter’s night. My version is full-flavoured and fuss-free, and can be fully prepared in advance, requiring only reheating at serving time.

Beef Bourguignon

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Recipe: Chocolate Peanut Butter Torte

This dessert is my idea of decadence – a truly delicious dessert. Due to the ridiculously high fat and sugar content it’s not something I make on a regular basis, but because it’s Easter all bets are off with calorie counting and a few indulgent treats are on the menu.  Besides, anything is always better for you when it’s homemade….

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Recipe: Thai Beef Salad

Who doesn’t love Thai food, with its beautiful balance of sweet, sour, salty and spicy flavours?  This refreshing but substantial salad ticks all the boxes, and is a perfect meal for this time of the year when the temperature and humidity levels are high. I make this dish at our popular Easy Asian Dinner Party cooking class and there are never any leftovers!

Thai Beef Salad

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Recipe: Gnocchi with Gorgonzola Walnut Sauce

I’ve recently joined the Meat Free Monday initiative, a campaign which encourages people to go without meat for one day a week to improve their health and the health of the planet.  As I’ve dragged my carnivore husband into this Monday ritual, it’s important that whatever I cook is tasty and satisfying. This dish ticks all the boxes, with the added bonus that you’ll have it on the table in 15 minutes. Be warned, it is not only satisfying, but very rich and a little goes a long way!  Serve with a simple green salad to refresh the palate.

Gnocchi with Gorgonzola & Walnut Sauce

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Recipe: Hazelnut Pavlova with Chocolate Hazelnut Cream & Summer Fruits

Instead of serving a traditional Christmas pudding this festive season, why not serve something more appropriate to our climate like this light and fruity and slightly decadent dessert? In this recipe, Australia’s national dessert gets a makeover, with the meringue flavoured with hazelnut meal and the Nutella added to the cream. The pavlova can be made the day before, leaving minimal last minute preparation. The perfect Christmas Day dessert!

Hazelnut Pavlova with Tropical Fruit

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Recipe: Barbequed Barramundi with Pineapple Salsa

Where I live (Queensland’s Sunshine Coast) is pineapple country and we are lucky enough to enjoy the sweetest of pineapples at a fraction of the price that city dwellers pay. Because they are readily available all year round, I normally have one sitting in my fruit bowl and enjoy using them in my cooking in a variety of ways.  Pineapples are gorgeous in a salsa, and marry really well with fresh chilli and mint.  I devised this recipe as a light and healthy warm weather meal and it’s perfect for this time of year.  If you can’t get hold of barramundi, any firm white fish will work fine. The salsa also pairs well with all seafood, as well as chicken and pork.

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Recipe: Stracci with Italian Sausage & Tomato

Who doesn’t love pasta, especially when it is served with a sumptous sauce? I created this delicious dish for my Pasta Making and Italian Sauces Cooking Class, and it is always a winner with my participants. Stracci in Italian means “rags” and as a culinary term means loosely cut or torn pasta. All you need to make stracci are some fresh lasagna sheets.  The success of the sauce depends largely upon the quality of the Italian sausages, so find yourself some good ones. Ideally, use fresh homemade pasta. Buon appetito!

Stracci with Italian Sausage & Tomato

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